The flight with giant Emirates A380 was pleasant enough and we’ve landed in Kuala Lumpur Int. on time. But the problems emerged as we were waiting for our luggage for the next 45 min. So while running through the airport and driving with taxi to other KL airport in Subang from where low cost carriers are flying, of course our Air Asia flight to Kuching already left. Since there was no space on the remaining flights that day we were forced to spend the night and took first flight in the morning.
This was our second visit to Borneo and this time we decided on Sabah area of the Malaysian part of this gorgeous island (you can read about previous adventure in our pre-baby era).
It took a good 45 min ride to reach our hotel at Damai Beach (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g298309-d299160-r136357398-Damai_Beach_Resort-Kuching_Sarawak.html). One thing you learn from the get go is that you are really in a place where you need taxi to almost everywhere you want to go. Except if you want to stay on hotel grounds but beware that the beach is not your ideal SEA beach with white sand and turquoise water. But if you did your homework you knew that before you came to this great island.
Sarawak is the largest state in Malaysia covering an area of nearly 125, 000 square kilometres in the Borneo land mass. With such a large land area, Sarawak is home to an incredible range of tropical bio-diversity. With a population of around 2 million, Sarawak’s rich ethnic diversity offers a unique local experience at the very moment you step of the plane. All that stands between you and Sarawak is your desire for an adventure and experience that is waiting to happen.
From rainforest canopies to jungle wildlife, discover the diverse ecosystem of Malaysia’s largest state. A city of modernity yet cloaked with its rich historical charms, Sarawak is a place where commonality and peacefulness is a way of life. A paradise of adventure for the adventure buffs, from the land to the sea, from mild to vigorous, whatever the challenge; if you’re ready for it, you can be sure Sarawak will give you an experience like no other.
Kuching is Sarawak’s capitol and also its largest town. Like much of Malaysia, it’s a cultural melting pot of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and indigenous people. In Kuching life is a little quieter, and calmer; a bit like the slowly-moving river that flows through its heart.
Fun things to do in Kuching:
1. Relax by the riverside
The south bank of the Sarawak River has been revamped in recent years to create a peaceful promenade. Shady pedestrian pathways, overhung by trees, and decorated with flowerbeds, become fairyland at night, the colourful lights reflected in the river below.
2. Check out Kuching’s Cat Statues
It’s not a coincidence that in Malay ‘kucing’ means ‘cat’, but, hey, what better reason could there be to become the cat city of Malaysia? There are three main cat statues around town, like this one.
4. Take a river cruise
Whether you get on board the tiny boat that ferry people to and from across the river, take a fast boat out to the mangroves downriver, or do one of the many touristy sunset cruises on offer, it’s worthwhile to get out on the water.
Taking this excursion really treats you with fun filled kayaking adventure in some of the most beautiful natural settings in Kuching. It was about 10 kayaks in our group so we never felt crowded or unsafe in account of being neglected because of too many people. There is no age limit to this adventure since Svit was by far the youngest one and the oldest couple was well in their 60s.
You can paddle leisurely through the river from the upper reaches of Sarawak River. The rapids were gentle and easy to go through but still great fun for us and the kid.
You must savour the sights of unique limestone formations and towering riverine trees while enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the rainforest.
After two great hours we’ve made a stop in native Bidayuh village, where we found some cool stuff about local herbs, spices, vegetables and fruits.
THE SARAWAK CULTURAL VILLAGE or chance to Hang out with Head-hunters
The Sarawak Cultural Village is nestled between Damai Beach Resort and Mt. Santubong. It’s created for tourists, but it was worthwhile and fun nevertheless. We went there on rainy day when beach wasn’t an option. It is just 10 min walk from the resort so no transportation needed here. We learned quite a bit about Borneo’s native tribes by walking around a mix of traditional longhouses and huts and observing traditional chores, foods, handicrafts and rituals. Svit enjoyed hands-on activities, walking on bamboo bridge and looking at local kids playing around. Most of the staff speaks English. The restaurant serves snacks and lunch. The boardwalk around the village is stroller friendly, but some of the houses are on stilts and have stairs.
After a week we were ready to leave this great island with the memories that will last with us for ever.